Northern Illinois high school newspapers : a comparison of format and design based on the school's community
Jungblut, Joseph A.
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The formats of high school newspapers in the northern Illinois area were explored. A mailed survey of northern Illinois advisers found that a limited range of formats was being used, even though the high school press had many more options than that of the community press. The advisers were using two types of formats exclusively: the tabloid and the mini-tab. Even though the communities differed in size, location and types of business in the community, the advisers chose to adhere to those two very traditional formats. Few advisers have changed the format of their publication over the years. With the increase of high school journalism workshops during the school year and during the summer, there seemed to be little notice paid to the actual format selected by the staff and adviser. Workshops lent themselves to writing, editing and design and rarely discussed the use of format for their school and community. Too often an inexperienced adviser, or first year adviser, copied what was produced by other advisers in previous years. Advisers who had had long-range experience working with the high school press tended to be locked into one set of standards, one format, and one way to produce the publication for their school. Press associations assumed that a staff and adviser had chosen the best format for their school and community and as a result they addressed their articles, newsletters and workshops to the writing and design for the bi-monthly tabloid format. Advisers also had to contend with the isolation of the high school press, and their only means of contact with other publications was through state and national contests or through newspaper exchanges. High school publications, because of their isolation, tended to copy one another with little regard for the type of school or community which they served, or which the other newspaper served. Press association literature and the Northern Illinois High School Newspaper Advisers' Survey found that copy-cattism was rampant. Bi-monthly eight-page tabloids using a five-column format and professional printers was the case, not the exception. Even though seventy-five percent of the advisers used an outside printer where a choice of format could be made, the tabloid was selected.